A care home provides accommodation and 24-hour personal care and support to people who no longer find it possible to manage daily life in their current home. Care homes support larger numbers of people than housing support services and can often provide some elements of nursing care as well as personal care.

The Care Inspectorate also defines care homes as:

"A service providing accommodation which includes nursing care, personal care or personal support to vulnerable children or adults. Hospitals and schools are not care home services.

Care homes can provide care for people with a range of care needs, for instance

  • care homes for people with physical and sensory impairments
  • care homes for older people
  • care homes for children and young people
  • care homes for people with learning disabilities
  • care homes for people with drug and alcohol misuse problems
  • care homes for people with mental health problems
  • short breaks and respite care services for adults"